Smart SPI and less smart user

reminisce about bbc micro & electron games like chuckie egg, repton, elite & exileRelated forum: adventures


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ludwig_van_potato
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Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by ludwig_van_potato » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:21 pm

Hello All,
I used to have a BBC back in the day, so went nuts, bought one off ebay, got smart SPI with beeb.mmb in it.
Couldn't wait to run favourite games: Exile, nope, Dunjunz nope, Firetrack, nope.
Lots of other stuff works, just happened to be the first 3 I tried that didn't.

Any ideas? Sorry I realise this may have been covered but if anyone can get me going, many thanks! Assume I know nothing.
Cheers

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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by ludwig_van_potato » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:27 pm

For example: Exile loads the menu, then Press F0 to Run Game, and that just refreshes the menu, doesn't go anywhere.
I should mention I installed sideways ram upgrade, and then it says "Can I use your sideways Ram?" then just refreshes the menu. (So didn't work either way)
Last edited by ludwig_van_potato on Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tricky
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by tricky » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:35 pm

Welcome,
There was a recent thread on Dunjunz, but I can't remember if a fixed .ssd was included.
I can't get Exile working either, although I was sure that I had played it in the past from that menu with SmartSPI.
You can download an ssd image for FireTrack from http://bbcmicro.co.uk/game.php?id=2468 and drag it onto an empty slot in the beeb.mmb file by opening beeb.mmb in MMBImager (on windows). Then on the beeb *DBOOT 256 or whatever the number was.
Sideways RAM can be a bit tricky as not all games that support it support all the different types, or more precisely the different ways they have of selecting which bank to write to.
I recently made a new menu system for GOTEK and SmartSPI, but both the other games fail with file not found, so I might have to look into them in the future.
Many of the games in the STH archive were converted from TAPE and some conversions (and games) play a little fast and loose with memory that they don't "own". You can play them, from bbcmicro.co.uk or maybe someone will work out how to play them.
Last edited by tricky on Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tom_seddon
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by tom_seddon » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:17 am

Does this plug in via the user port? I don't know about the other two, which I will now have to try, but Exile pokes the user port as part of its sideways RAM detection process. This caused problems with my BeebLink project (which includes a widget that plugs into the user port), as the widget firmware would interpret this as communication from the BBC.

I also had related (but not identical) problems with Tynesoft's Beverley Hills Cop and Superman, so you may find they don't work too...

I didn't look into patching any of these, I'm afraid, as in the end I was able to fix this in the BeebLink ROM, but this might at least help narrow it down.

--Tom

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tricky
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by tricky » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:58 am

Good point, I have to put an on error to retry the load after I have scanned for swram in my AstroBlaster loader. The mmc dfs ROMs all seem to reset on failure, but don't retry.

PS some times you can avoid this by loading the ROM first which then avoids the game loading it if it has a check first.
Last edited by tricky on Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

DaveBurke
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by DaveBurke » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:08 pm

Don't know if this is useful, but I had exactly the same problem with Exile when using the SWR version of MMFS.

I've currently got normal MMFS in a Boobip EEPROM module, and that works fine.

ludwig_van_potato
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by ludwig_van_potato » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:55 pm

Thanks for all help: much appreciated.

Yes plugs into user port.

I've found for some reason now: Dunjunz works, and so does the standard Firetrack version (not enhanced)
I can only assume pulling the SMART SPI in and out of the user interface improved something. but not sure.

Dave: weird.
I'm not clear btw on the differences between MMFS and SMART SPI. Pardon my ignorance.

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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by ludwig_van_potato » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:29 am

Exile: Hooray I think this has been solved elsewhere: This runs on Smart SPI

viewtopic.php?t=13795&start=30
Exile + TurboMMC patch.zip
download/file.php?id=32296

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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by DaveBurke » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:31 pm

I've just seen this on the bbcmicro.co.uk archive:

If you are playing this game on a real BBC micro, the game graphics are enhanced by having 2 banks of "Sideways RAM".

2 BANKS! That's all I've got on my beeb, that would explain it going wrong if I've got the filesystem in one of them!

I guess Mr Boobip is going to have another order from me some time soon :)

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tricky
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by tricky » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:04 pm

How do you load smartspi?

DaveBurke
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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by DaveBurke » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:51 pm

I don't use it any more tricky, but I used to load it off disc.

I've got MMFS in an EEPROM now.

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Re: Smart SPI and less smart user

Post by ZudoBug » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:30 pm

I've also just bought one of the SmartSPI devices, which I'm using with my Master 128.

Most games work fine, but like the OP, I have found that some don't run, presumably because the SPI filing system is taking up memory which they also require?
I've also added some of my own disk images using the MMBImager, but with only partial success.
Currently I have the SPI ROM installed in a Master128 ROM cartridge, rather than inside the machine, so it appears in slot 0 - not sure if this makes any difference?

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